The Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act by an 81-12 margin in September and in August the House passed it 381-40. Both votes are much more than the two-thirds majority needed to override President Bush's veto of the bill on Friday.
WRDA is usually updated every two years, but has not managed to get through conference and to the president's desk since 2000. Bush vetoed the bill because of the increase of the price tag in conference to $23.2 billion. The bill will provide a major upgrade of the lock and dam system on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. The outdated system severely hinders the shipment of grains both domestically and internationally. WRDA also funds projects relating to flood damage reduction, navigation, hurricane and storm damage reduction and environmental restoration.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced that the Senate will hold an override vote this week. A vote is also expected in the House this week. The National Corn Growers Association and American Soybean Association have both mobilized efforts asking producers to contact members of Congress to encourage them to override the veto.